Thursday, 13 May 2021

Stamped Out

The effect of night, of any flowing water, of lighted cities, of the peep of day, of ships, of the open ocean, calls up in the mind an army of anonymous desires and pleasures. Something, we feel, should happen; we know not what, yet we proceed in quest of it.

Robert Louis Stevenson - A Gossip on Romance (1882)

An effect of the coronavirus debacle has been to stamp out a wider view of life and death and our hunger for meaning. It has stifled an army of anonymous desires and pleasures. To some extent it has verged on stamping out our sense of self, our individuality, our history, interests, hopes and fears.

Obviously not entirely stamped out by any means, but significantly perhaps. Enough to wonder about the less tangible harm it has caused. Life goes on, but something seems to have been sucked out of it and rendered it more mechanical, more routine. 

It gives considerable support to those who feel that listening to the clamour of the public arena is not really worth the effort. It takes too much from real life.


Sam Vega said...

Agreed. And it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more life becomes one long dreary opportunity to avoid viral infections,the harder it will be to even remember that those anonymous desires and pleasures actually exist.

A K Haart said...

Sam - as if the mainstream public arena is contracting towards a kind of woke tabloid madness where the sensible option is to ignore it.

MrMC said...

I was told by one employer a while ago, think what you like but be careful what you say, rather prescient. Luckily we can still think what we like in a ballot box, if there is anyone left to vote for who can say what we are all thinking, but they are under the same yoke, and it does make one think, if a government with a large majority cannot control this ridiculous woke idiocy infecting society, then it only indicates that this agenda is being co ordinated outside of democracy

A K Haart said...

MrMC - that's the problem, they are under the same yoke and the system is bound to attract people who don't mind that and find the yoke easy to bear.